21 East 22 Street loft sells after long, painful price discovery

2009 was not such a trough here
This one has to hurt: not only did the “900 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4F at 21 East 22 Street take 18 months to sell, it sold for a tiny premium over the price this seller paid in a very chilly market. Imagine the pain in starting in February 2011 in search of a 23% gain and ending a few weeks ago with a 6% gain (this table may help your visualization):

Dec 11, 2008 new to market $790,000
Feb 28, 2009 contract  
June 25 sold $780,000
Feb 3, 2011 new to market $959,000
July 1 hiatus  
Sept 30 back on market $929,000
Nov 1   $885,000
June 20, 2012 contract  
Oct 16 sold $825,000

That’s rather remarkable: a contract signed in the First Quarter of 2009 should have faced the headwinds of the nuclear winter in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market; that same loft coming to market 2 years later should have enjoyed the recovery. (I don’t see much enjoyment, measured at $45,000.)

The good news, however, is that this is a lovely little loft with very nice finishes in prime Flatiron, so the new owner will likely enjoy it.

very lovely and little (very little)
Our listing system has #4F at “900 sq ft”, the same figure as StreetEasy has for the recent listing. Can you find any where near that many feet on the floor plan? I can’t. In fact, using the interior dimensions provided it is hard to get much beyond half that. The few feet that are there are (yes) lovely, and with 11 foot ceilings and that one wall of windows, this loft probably feels bigger than it is. (Without feeling quite like 900 sq ft, I must add.) The recent broker babble is similarly cramped:

Gorgeously renovated, 11’-plus ceilings, immense windows, fully-integrated Crestron wireless lighting/audio control system, limestone bath with double sinks, whirlpool tub & glass shower, new custom kitchen with Carrera marble counters, Monogram fridge, Bosch dishwasher & Bertazzoni stainless range, custom built-ins and elegant finishes throughout.

I prefer the more enthusiastic babble from 2008:

A truly fine renovation, this prewar loft home offers both gracious and grand living with 11.5 foot beam ceilings, huge oversized windows, full size dining area, top of the line kitchen including custom Brazilian rosewood cabinetry, white marble counter tops with Bar, stainless steel appliances, and limestone floors.

Glass sliding doors enclose bedroom area, plus Venetian plaster walls, ebony wood built ins, and generous closets and functional storage throughout.

The Spa style full bath has a separate thermostatically controlled waterfall glass enclosed shower stall, stone counters w/ double basins & a whirlpool tub.

Fully outfitted with all the advanced technological wiring for surround sound Plasma TV and audio entertainment system, light filtering solar shades, and recessed halogen lighting, and all these can be operated by hand held Creston Brand central control.

There is a lot of utility and function crammed into this small space: custom kitchen with rosewood cabinetry, spa bath with shower and tub, ebony built-ins, and remote controlled sound, lighting and shade systems. Of course, with but 3 small closets, the space accommodates a neat lifestyle (to say the least), but the (right kind of) living is rich.

As unhappy as the recent seller may be, the 2009 seller could not have been thrilled, either.

what do they say about hindsight?
(Not the 20-20 part, the canine part.) On the one hand, you’d think from the 2009 and 2012 sale prices that the 2009 seller would have been happy to have avoided the deeper trough that afflicted many sales in early 2009. But I did not give you that seller’s earlier attempt to sell; it was short, but not sweet:

Feb 7, 2007 new to market $975,000
June 15 off the market  

I have to wonder if that seller looked back (after selling for $780,000) and wondered what might have happened had he persisted into The Peak, which turned out to be within 9 months. Even the canine hindsight cannot tell us what would have happened then, but selling conditions in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market have still never again been as strong as they were in those 9 AWOL months.

If you have read past Manhattan Loft Guy posts from this building you know that prices have varied significantly for lofts both smaller and (perhaps) larger in this collection of mostly-small lofts.

I am not going to do it today (you’re welcome!), but one can find an argument here that #4F could have sold about $100,000 higher at The Peak. I will just collect here the roster:

Did you VOTE yet??

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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